Written by Tommy Whey-Shyamalan, M.D., Staff Writer.
Upon recent commentary from Cannes Film Festival favorite, Terrence Malick, about the 2003 experimental masterpiece, The Room, Lenny Abrahamson has announced what he describes as a “important work of cinema,” Room 2: The Rise of Denny.
Tommy Wiseau’s The Room, which he starred in, directed in, and wrote, tells the story of Johnny, a man in love, whose unfaithful wife, Lisa, throws him into a spiraling depression that ends in his suicide. The film, which has been formerly described by critics everywhere as the “Citizen Kane of bad movies,” was marketed at the last minute as a “black comedy,” despite having elements that give viewers the impression that the film is simply a failed drama. However, Terrence Malick insists that the film is an “experimental masterpiece, a study in cinema not like any other, brilliant!”
In response to these comments, famed 2015 Room director Lenny Abrahamson has decidedly announced his next picture: a sequel to the 2003 cinematic enigma The Room, which he is calling “The Rise of Denny.” Abrahamson, who had previously seen The Room years ago and “thought it was a piece of shit,” changed his tune following Malick’s praise of the film. The director described his vision for the sequel as being tied to the fact that “Denny is an integral part of the original. He’s kinda like Tommy and Lisa’s weird adopted son who incestuously lusts after his adopted mother Lisa. He’s on par with a Norman Bates figure, secretly leering at Johnny and Lisa’s impassioned lovemaking with lust, only to defend himself when caught by confident declaration: ‘I like watching you guys.'”
Abrahamson explains that Johnny’s graceful, if off-put, reaction to Denny, “Two’s great but three’s a crowd,” is the precise moment where “the beginning of Denny’s rising obsession in my film will begin, when Denny snaps, determined to be involved in Johnny and Lisa’s vigorous, if repetitious, lovemaking as a full partner, a threesome of carnal passion.”
He went on: “But Denny cannot achieve this without coercion. That is to say, Johnny and Lisa would never willingly engage Denny romantically. This is why Denny must kidnap them, with the help of Chris R.” Abrahamson explained the idea for Denny as primary character as a “parallel character to that of Old Nick in my film Room, in fact, based a great deal off of him. In Room 2: The Rise of Denny, these parallel universes will collide. After all, Chris R., the erratic drug dealer of Wiseau’s masterpiece, is from the same cloth as Old Nick. They’d know each other. In this picture, Chris R. will assist Denny, as the muscle in the kidnapping as well as providing Old Nick’s lair as a place to store the two in Old Nick’s absence from incarceration.”
When the director was asked about the narrative discontinuity he spoke of, whether these events occurred before Johnny’s suicide at the end of The Room in order to truly run consecutively, Abrahamson initially commented, “If Wiseau is given the liberty of narrative discontinuity, why can’t I?” He then clarified: “It’s an experimental film, like Wiseau’s original. Time has no meaning. Meaning has no meaning. While it seemingly has a linear narrative, and one plot, the film will actually have several plots, some that run parallel, others that don’t. It will be a true act of artistic expression like no other, a truly perfect film.”
Wiseau’s many plot holes, incongruities, and bizarre cinematic mishaps–for instance, Claudette’s apparently unimportant and disappearing breast cancer, the disappearance of drug dealer Chris R. to whom Denny is indebted, a flower shop employee’s inability to recognize Johnny due to his wearing sunglasses, Lisa’s contradicting views of Johnny, and so forth (the list goes on, what Abrahamson calls the “magnitude of Wiseau’s genius”) –are nonetheless defended by Abrahamson: “Wiseau, I think, is making a grand statement about the complexity of human relations, the undeniable egocentricity of the human being, and the inherent breakdown of humanity over time to hate–Wiseau’s film is trying to convince us to love each other before it’s too late! Johnny’s death represent’s the end of the world.”
With regards to Wiseau’s involvement in the film in a creative capacity, Abrahamson clarified: “Wiseau’s original is visually wondrous, its stylistic choices, for instance, to represent carnal desire through seemingly repetitious footage… it’s almost as if he filmed one sex scene and recycled its footage three times per hour as if to make a bold and intellectually sophisticated claim about the nature of human relations. But perhaps most striking is Wiseau’s authentic dialogue, which no other film can pretend to replicate. You see, it’s seemingly incoherent but perhaps representative, too, of some deep philosophical treatise about the brokenness of humanity. I would not by any means wish to stifle Wiseau’s natural voice; therefore, my role as a director will be minimal, only to facilitate a complete unleashing of Wiseau’s creativity and undeniable savantian genius. ”
The director did note that Brie Larson is already a favorite for taking over the role of Lisa in place of no-name Juliette Danielle, while Wiseau will of course reprise his role as Johnny, the “role he was born to play and plays so convincingly.” While The Room actor Greg Sestero–who portrayed Mark in the original film and wrote a book on his experiences that James Franco is currently in the process of converting into into a film, if only for self-aggrandizing reasons–has expressed interest in reprising his role, Abrahamson has noted that he is considering choosing “Someone more mainstream, a heartthrob who will appeal to multiple demographics. Maybe Gosling.”
Tommy Whey-Shyamalan, M.D. was previously a successful cardiothoracic surgeon before he pursued an unsuccessful career as a filmmaker, well known for making films that sporadically twist between formula romantic comedies and contrived soap opera dramatics. He also was catapulted from the Hollywood community after receiving universal hatred for turning beloved television shows into incoherent and unforgivably poorly acted films. He currently is on staff.